Scotland has made great strides towards meeting its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. Their goal was to reduce emissions by 42 percent by 2020. This week, the Scottish government announced in a press release that the country passed the goal in 2014, when they achieved “a reduction of 45.8 percent.”
Climate change secretary Roseanna Cunningham said between 1990 and 2014, emissions fell by close to 46 percent. Emissions in the rest of the UK since 1990 only fell by 33 percent. Cunningham suggested that individuals turning down the heat may have contributed to the reduction.
Related: 57% of Scotland’s energy came from renewables in 2015
Others said the government still needs to step up their commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland spokesperson Jim Densham told The Guardian while it was good the goal has already been reached, showing people don’t have to sacrifice comfort drastically to combat climate change, the government still needs to “lead with the big policies for major emission reductions.”
According to Densham, emissions from the transportation sector remain at the same levels as 1990, and in the housing sector, emissions have only been reduced by 1 percent. He said Scotland was able to reach the 42 percent target due to a warmer 2014 winter, heavy industry loss, a “changing share of European emissions credits,” and policies.
Green Party Parliament member Mark Ruskell said if the government hopes to set greater targets for 2020, they need to address “home energy efficiency” and fuel poverty. They also need “far more ambitious” transportation policies.
Ruskell said to The Guardian, “The real test of action on climate change isn’t how figures get fudged from year to year; it’s whether people across Scotland have real choices to live in warm, efficient homes or a transport system fit for the 21st century. That requires funding and action from the Scottish government.”
According to the Scottish government, the target for 2050 is an 80 percent reduction in emissions. Cunningham said since the country has already met its 2020 goal, it will likely pursue more ambitious goals in legislation.
Via The Guardian
Images via Wikimedia Commons (1,2)